This sun-soaked murder mystery is as popular as ever, and star Ralf Little thinks he knows why.
The former Royle Family and Two Pints of Lager… actor first appeared on Saint Marie, taking over from former lead Ardal O’Hanlan halfway through series nine, and he believes it’s the relatively short stints of the fish-out-of-water British detectives that have kept DIP fresh and popular.
“I think [for] Ben Miller, who was the first [lead role], it was never the intention that he was going to leave after series two,” he told The Michael Ball Show on BBC Radio 2.
“I think he had a young kid who he wanted to be there for, which totally makes sense.
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“So, his character was the victim in the first episode of series three. Which is an incredibly bold thing to do.
“Then Kris Marshall went out to solve his murder and that is how this tradition of, sort of, changing the detective started.”
“What turned out to be something by necessity turned out to be a really happy accident. It’s really kept the show fresh and changing faces and so on.”
And it’s not just the leading men who have changed since the show’s debut in 2011.
Following the departure of DS Camille Bordey (Sara Martins) after season four, the popular Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) left after seven years, but has since returned as a guest.
Recently, Shyko Amos who played Officer Ruby Patterson and Aude Legastelois-Bidé (DS Madeleine Dumas), also departed, as did actor Tobi Bakare who portrayed Sergeant JP Hooper.
However, fans were delighted at the start of season 10 when Josephine Jobert, who plays DS Florence Cassell, returned to work alongside Neville.
Death in Paradise viewers have long been hoping for romance between Neville and Florence. But while the couple previously looked close to forming a relationship, it seems it was not meant to be as Florence left the shores of Saint Marie a few weeks ago.
Little has also spoken out about how his character has been unlucky in love.
Chatting on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he remarked: “I know. I mean, he got close didn’t he, him and Florence? It seemed like it was all going to happen. Obviously I knew what was going to happen because I filmed it. But, when I watched it on TV I was like ‘this is quite an emotional rollercoaster’.”
The 11th run, which ends tonight on BBC One, has seen the introduction of two new characters. Trainee officer Marlon Pryce (Tahj Miles) and Sergeant Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) have become permanent and popular fixtures on the programme. And they and Neville are in the thick of the action here, as the team attempt to work out how and why a murder was carried out during a prestigious chess match.
One character who is still around from the show’s early days is Don Warrington’s Commissioner Selwyn Patterson. However, he is confronted by a figure from his past – the very last person he was expecting to see – so who knows what will become of the show’s longest standing cast member.
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